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Press Release

European Space Agency delivers its SuperSites Exploitation Platform on Interoute Virtual Data Centre

Innovative collaboration uses big data deployment in the cloud to help Earth Science tackle geohazards

London, 18 September 2013: As part of its mission to support the scientific community and encourage better use of satellite data to monitor and track our planet, the European Space Agency (ESA) is developing a SuperSites Exploitation Platform (SSEP) on Interoute Virtual Data Centre. This new platform aims to enable the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of satellite data in order to better understand the processes causing geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanic activity.

The ESA SuperSites Exploitation Platform has been developed in collaboration with Interoute and allows on-demand processing of satellite data through Interoute Virtual Data Centre. Providing initial access to 13TB of data, encompassing 50,000 radar scenes from ESA, users of SSEP can choose from a number of algorithms to process the data. The platform also includes a cloud toolbox, which offers virtual desktop resources configured with appropriate software and licenses to analyse and process the data.

To develop this new innovation ESA used ICT technology to transform the way its satellite data is used, processed and distributed, creating a platform that encourages collaboration using e-Infrastructures such as cloud technology. e-Infrastructures provide the ICT-based infrastructures and services needed to empower the scientific community with easy and controlled online access to facilities, resources and collaboration tools. This enables instant access to data and remote instruments, the setup of virtual research communities, and fosters the emergence of e-Science - new working methods based on the shared use of ICT tools and resources across different disciplines and technology domains. This development required the capability to procure, provision and deploy secure cloud-based ICT infrastructure, making on-demand, scalable processing and storage of large data volumes faster for users who are distributed around the world.

Jordi Farres, EOP Service Support & Ground Segment Technology Office at ESA, commented: “This platform will provide authorised users with simple access tools to view and retrieve data from multiple archives, to place their tasking requests, to fetch data, and to report results back to data providers; which will make a larger pool of data available to scientific data users. The SSEP model complements the legacy model where data was shipped out and processed at a user's premises. Collaboration with Interoute and other industrial partners has made this significant step forward possible.”

Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute, said: “Combining Interoute Virtual Data Centre with the European Space Agency’s e-Infrastructure brings all the advantages of cloud, huge scalability and unparalleled connectivity, to the innovative ESA SuperSites Exploitation Platform. With this collaboration and through the cloud Interoute is helping ESA track tomorrow.”

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About ESA
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 20 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA's programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe. There are around 2000 staff working for ESA, from all the Member States and include scientists, engineers, information technology specialists and administrative personnel. Countries belonging to ESA: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a Cooperation agreement. Hungary, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia are ‘European Cooperating States’. Other countries have signed cooperation agreements with ESA. For more information about SuperSites please visit http://supersites.earthobservations.org/

About Interoute
Interoute Communications Ltd is the owner operator of Europe's largest cloud services platform, which encompasses over 60,000 km of lit fibre, 10 hosting data centres and 31 collocation centres, with connections to 140 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises, as well as every major European telecommunications incumbent and the major operators of North America, East and South Asia, governments and universities. These organisations find Interoute the ideal partner for computing, connectivity and communications and developing new services. Its Unified ICT strategy has proved attractive to enterprises looking for a scalable, secure and unconstrained platform on which they can build their voice, video, computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit and infrastructure. With established operations throughout mainland Europe, North America and Dubai, Interoute also owns and operates dense city networks throughout Europe's major business centres. www.interoute.com 

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